En Gedi: Finding rest in the wilderness!

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An Upside Down Prayer is Ok!

Posted by Scott on March 2, 2009

The tax collector’s prayer in Luke 18 was genuine, but many then and today may not think so. He did not take the proper position, was not loud and lofty as the Pharisee. His prayer simply went like this from a distance, looking down at the floor, beating his chest in shame he said, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” How in the world could God listen to this prayer of such a vile sinner? I thought this little story was great in light of the tax collectors prayer:

“The proper way for a man to pray,” said Deacon Lemuel Keyes, “And the only proper attitude is down upon his knees.”

“No, I should say the way to pray,” said Reverend Doctor Wise. “Is standing straight with outstretched arms and rapt and upturned eyes.”

“Oh, no, no, no,” said Elder Slow. “Such posture is too proud. A man should pray with eyes fast-closed and head contritely bowed.”

“It seems to me his hands should be austerely clasped in fron with both thumbs pointing toward the ground.” said Reverend Doctor Blunt.

“Last year I fell into Higekin’s water well headfirst,” said Cyrus Brown. “With both my heels a-stickin up and my head a-pointin down. “And I made a prayer right then and there, the best prayer I ever said, the prayingest prayer I ever prayed, a-standin on my head.”

Cyrus Brown and the tax collector can identify with each other. God is not looking for elegant speech, breathy words, a particular position or anything of the kind…God is interested in a sincere and earnest prayer from deep within our gut that matters not where we are or who we are, just sincere…God is listening for us and wants to hear from us and act on our behalf.

 

Scott Bailey (c) 2009

 

*Story found in the late Ray C. Stedman’s book, “Talking with the Father”.

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